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Why are GP receptionists so rude yet compassion is instilled in other healthcare staf Watch

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    (Original post by Bridgeta222)
    that's the thing, it's true receptionists do talk about their experiences and so do nurses to their friends and families, so it's tru that confidentiality laws are casually breached, consciously or not.
    Its only breaching confidentiality if they identify specifically who they are talking about, though.
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    (Original post by anonymouspie227)
    The receptionist at my surgery was kinda mean. I was asking to book an appointment with my doctor to discuss test results, and she told me the results at the desk without my permission, in front of all the other patients. (it wasn't an sexual illness test, it was just some bloods and an xray) After telling me thee results she said I don't need an appointment anymore. I felt embarrassed, all the patients queuing up behind me were listening and I just walked out.
    I've never been asked by our receptionist what our problem is. However, one time I went to the Dr with two problems - one she gave me a prescription for and the other I went for a smear test. The Dr said I would have to see a nurse for that and I would have to make an appointment at the reception for it. She wrote it down on a post-it note for me to hand to reception discreetly so I didnt broadcast it to other patients lol. "Can I book an appointment for this please?" *Hands note to receptionist* No probs what so ever!

    Super staff IMO.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Confidentiality laws, etc, are only meaningful if you have a lot to lose.

    GPs receptionists have a menial job to lose and they're usually gossipy middle-aged women anyways.
    Source for this pathetic statement ^
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Confidentiality laws, etc, are only meaningful if you have a lot to lose.

    GPs receptionists have a menial job to lose and they're usually gossipy middle-aged women anyways.
    How? They're bound by the same laws as anyone else who handles sensitive data.
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    How much do receptionists get paid compared to GPs? I think compassion should of course be a part of the job description of a GP considering how much they get paid.

    And rarely are they compassionate anyway, I've experienced some down right rude GPs.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Probably because GP receptionists think that they're doctors or that their medical opinion when someone is trying to urgently speak to a GP is somewhat relevant?
    That is such a conceited and snobby thing to say. GP receptionists are the face of the surgery and the amount of abuse/ complaints they must endure from panicky, dissatisfied patients or relatives of patients must be through the roof. Have some respect


    I can see a lot of people on this thread look down on them. And I hate that, they are a vital important part of the surgery too.
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    (Original post by pandabird)

    And rarely are they compassionate anyway, I've experienced some down right rude GPs.
    OTOH, some are wonderful.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    Why? it's none of their business. That's between me and the GP.
    What is your problem with them? See, with that kind of attitude, I bet you are just the type to come across rude and arrogant to them, especially if it's the surgery's policy to ask and they are just doing their job...


    Do you honestly think that receptionists give a crap about your medical condition/ history? Think about how many patients they encounter on a daily basis, let alone a yearly basis. You may think you're divulging really personal information, but to them, they've heard and seen it all before. They don't care.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    OTOH, some are wonderful.
    wonderful? Bit ott.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    errrr. Have you not heard about the mid-staffordshire francis report? You read about the lack of compassion in hospital recieved by patients, you read about the excessive high mortality rates in hospitals and you might change your mind.
    No. I live in a cave, and therefore have not heard anything about it at all.

    Sarcasm time is over. "During the course coach Andy Bradley explains which body language to avoid, how to listen properly, and why it is important to care for your colleagues" - none of that will have any impact on mortality rates, or anything else important. It is simply another PFI dreamed up by desk warrior, that will do nothing for health other than to give Frameworks 4 Change (naff name, by the way) a very healthy profit line.

    Perhaps you didn't actually watch the video but, as the narrator says, "this won't shorten waiting lists or lower infection rates [the latter of which is what the Francis report concerns itself with], but perhaps compassion training could make hospital just a little bit friendlier". This will not impact on mortality rates.

    That last goal is very admirable, of course, but a) it has very little to do with patient mortality rates, and b) I'm sure the message can be transmitted in a far better way than that course, containing as it does such nuggets of wisdom [sarcasm time has returned] as "what's radical about profound listening is that it's listening with a quiet mind".
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    (Original post by pandabird)
    What is your problem with them? See, with that kind of attitude, I bet you are just the type to come across rude and arrogant to them, especially if it's the surgery's policy to ask and they are just doing their job...


    Do you honestly think that receptionists give a crap about your medical condition/ history? Think about how many patients they encounter on a daily basis, let alone a yearly basis. You may think you're divulging really personal information, but to them, they've heard and seen it all before. They don't care.
    I am NOT willing to broadcast my medical issues to the rest of the people waiting to talk to the receptionist. It is none of their business as to why I need to see a GP. Some of it is personal information and none of it is to do with them.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    I am NOT willing to broadcast my medical issues to the rest of the people waiting to talk to the receptionist. It is none of their business as to why I need to see a GP. Some of it is personal information and none of it is to do with them.
    Then if you have an issue complain to the practice partners, not to the poor receptionists who are the ones who have to deal with uppity attitudes.
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    (Original post by pandabird)
    That is such a conceited and snobby thing to say. GP receptionists are the face of the surgery and the amount of abuse/ complaints they must endure from panicky, dissatisfied patients or relatives of patients must be through the roof. Have some respect

    I can see a lot of people on this thread look down on them. And I hate that, they are a vital important part of the surgery too.
    Thank you for this response.

    I started work this morning at 7:30am, I finished at 6:45pm and had 50min lunch break. To read some of the snobby, stuck up remarks made by some of the idiots in this thread makes me feel incredibly disheartened as I do my upmost best to ensure all patients are dealt with properly, and given good service whilst in the Drs surgery building. Some of the people in this thread don't actually realise just how much a Drs surgery relies upon the Receptionist staff to run it properly - without us, there is no efficient Drs surgery. The Drs themselves rely upon us too - it is US who book the appointments, get prescriptions done, chase things for patients and etc. YET with the remarks I am seeing here, makes me feel like ''What is the point?'' Patients don't appreciate it whatsoever!

    Yes the wage isn't brilliant, SO WHAT? The fact that thousands of receptionists are ACTUALLY working is something in itself, rather than being a lazy ******* slob, claiming dole money! Yes, some Receptionists may ask why you're seeing the Dr, it may be part of their job, they aren't asking for the fun of it. And like someone said, I see loads of people each week with varying problems; some tell me what it is, some don't. Those that do disclose what it is - I really do not giving a flying monkeys! What is said to me in person or on the phone remains confidential.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for this response.

    I started work this morning at 7:30am, I finished at 6:45pm and had 50min lunch break. To read some of the snobby, stuck up remarks made by some of the idiots in this thread makes me feel incredibly disheartened as I do my upmost best to ensure all patients are dealt with properly, and given good service whilst in the Drs surgery building. Some of the people in this thread don't actually realise just how much a Drs surgery relies upon the Receptionist staff to run it properly - without us, there is no efficient Drs surgery. The Drs themselves rely upon us too - it is US who book the appointments, get prescriptions done, chase things for patients and etc. YET with the remarks I am seeing here, makes me feel like ''What is the point?'' Patients don't appreciate it whatsoever!

    Yes the wage isn't brilliant, SO WHAT? The fact that thousands of receptionists are ACTUALLY working is something in itself, rather than being a lazy ******* slob, claiming dole money! Yes, some Receptionists may ask why you're seeing the Dr, it may be part of their job, they aren't asking for the fun of it. And like someone said, I see loads of people each week with varying problems; some tell me what it is, some don't. Those that do disclose what it is - I really do not giving a flying monkeys! What is said to me in person or on the phone remains confidential.
    I shadowed some GP receptionists a while ago for a week, and I must say, there were times when I thought you guys weren't human considering how much you have to organise. It's pretty easy to sit back and criticise someone's job when you haven't experienced it for yourself. Just know that at least some people appreciate that GP surgeries would be in utter shambles without the admin staff
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    (Original post by coconut2456)
    I shadowed some GP receptionists a while ago for a week, and I must say, there were times when I thought you guys weren't human considering how much you have to organise. It's pretty easy to sit back and criticise someone's job when you haven't experienced it for yourself. Just know that at least some people appreciate that GP surgeries would be in utter shambles without the admin staff
    Thank you.

    Before I got this job, I completely under estimated it - I just thought ''Meh its booking appts, answering the phone and a bit of admin'' = wrong! lol Come Friday evenings, I am fit for my dinner and then bed. I hardy go out Friday nights as I am exhausted! Some of my colleagues don't even get their lunch break, or have a toilet break - that is how manic it can be!

    Yes, without us - there is no GP practice (more or less). The GPs rely on us to do a lot of things. So it's all well and good people saying ''I want the GP, and the GP only'' . . yea, that's fine, but we are the people who actually connect, triage people to the right GP! :dontknow:

    Also there are a few twits in this thread who said . . .''Receptionists have a bit of position, and think they own the place''. . . yes a select few do, but I certainly don't and nor do my colleagues! I don't even tell people where I work - I am very private where I work as I don't want random people to start asking me about my job and try to divulge information, which so called friends do try to do!
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    I'm really shocked by people's attitudes towards GP receptionists. Rarely there are incidents that the receptionists do blatantly rude things to patients. The incident I read on the first page concerning the test results read out to the patient is one of those. However, I find it terribly offensive to the majority of receptionists who work their hardest and deal with so much crap from patients. I've never had rude receptionists in all the 7+ GP surgeries that I've been with. If they're rude to you- ask yourself how is your manner with them? Are you being polite or are you being demanding?
    Plus, I know many of us have hard jobs or experienced them.. How would you feel if you're working so so soooo hard everyday organising loads of stuff and dealing with rude demanding patients and nobody appreciates what work you're doing? It's exceptionally difficult to not be worn thin by it all. If you greet them with a smile and politeness you may see a different side to them. Sometimes all it takes is one person being nice and showing their appreciation to brighten up their day.
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    (Original post by malteser87)
    I'm really shocked by people's attitudes towards GP receptionists. Rarely there are incidents that the receptionists do blatantly rude things to patients. The incident I read on the first page concerning the test results read out to the patient is one of those. However, I find it terribly offensive to the majority of receptionists who work their hardest and deal with so much crap from patients. I've never had rude receptionists in all the 7+ GP surgeries that I've been with. If they're rude to you- ask yourself how is your manner with them? Are you being polite or are you being demanding?
    Plus, I know many of us have hard jobs or experienced them.. How would you feel if you're working so so soooo hard everyday organising loads of stuff and dealing with rude demanding patients and nobody appreciates what work you're doing? It's exceptionally difficult to not be worn thin by it all. If you greet them with a smile and politeness you may see a different side to them. Sometimes all it takes is one person being nice and showing their appreciation to brighten up their day.
    You've hit the nail right on the head with the bold. I had it today with a rude gentleman - I was polite to him the minute he walked in, when I questioned something (I wasn't rude), he got rude with me and quite aggressive. I remained professional and didn't sink to his level, but there was absolutely no need for it!

    That sorta thing can occur several times throughout the day; patients throwing their toys out their pram when they can't get their own way, or something is queried!
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    Receptionists seem to have as bad a reputation as im so academic, they get paid a low wage, therefore they don't do as high a quality of work as someone who gets paid a better wage. There are arrogant people in every line of work, you can't generalise a whole profession of thousands because of your personal experiences. You could think about changing practice if it's that bad an issue?
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    (Original post by Bridgeta222)
    Why are GP receptionists so rude yet compassion is instilled in other healthcare staff, we all know the current drive the NHS has going for compassion in nurses and GPs too, that patients are listened to, but although I appreciate the difficulty of having to answer phone calls etc, I don't think it's a strong enough reason to be rude and curt.

    So why have GP receptionists been left out of the picture for compassion training? Arguably compassion can't be trained but at least an awareness that they should seem compassionate, at least.

    My reaction is just to be graceful and even if they're curt to me I carry on being polite, which is counter-intuitive, but it always leaves a bad feeling after having made the call, perhaps I'm too sensitive.

    Also, they spend time gossiping to one another when I'm actually there in the queue and the queue is getting bigger and they're still in chitter-chatter mode, it doesn't make for efficiency.
    They get paid what? Just slightly above minimum wage if lucky? Do you think that kind of pay allows for 'compassion training'? They're mostly dealing with little appointments, they can't be expected to give constant kindness and nursing soft voices to people who are just getting their blood done or whatever. Be lucky you have health care, (make the most of it), don't complain about something so nit picky!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Reading some of the comments on this thread is making my blood boil, and I can see why some Receptionists behave in the manner that they do = you patients bring it upon yourselves! I work as a Receptionist and believe you me, we take an awful lot of crap from rude, ill-mannered patients! We're under-paid, our roles and responsibilities get bigger and bigger by the day, and there is a huge demand for services which we Receptionists are doing our darned best to point you patients in the right direction. How I see it is treat people how you wish to be treated; speak to someone like ****, expect a snarky/a person with attitude to greet you back!



    Exactly what my colleagues and I get fed up of every week; patients demanding an urgent appt.. When the patient divulges what it's for they say things like ''I need a letter/new prescription''. These things are not deemed urgent; they're not life threatening and can wait. If the patient gets their 'knickers in a twist' because s/he can't get their own way, patient needs to prioritise/get organised. Too many patients think they can just walk into their GP practice, demand and get what they want - that's not how it works. GPs are very very busy people, and after working for a GP practice for just over a year I completely under-estimated their workload but can now see how manic it really is.

    As for Receptionists asking what the problem may be/why you want to see the Dr - some practices have that policy in place, it's not the receptionist being nosey. It use to be in our practice policy (the Drs asked us to do it), but after us receptionists complained about it, we stopped asking. Now and again you'll get patients telling you what the problem is (without being prompted from the receptionist), but I don't ask as it's personal and has nothing to do with me. I'm there to help guide the patient in the right direction, not to be nosey for my own benefit!
    This is exactly why patients tend to be suspicious/hostile to receptionists - you never bother to listen to us!!!

    If you had bothered to read the passage you quoted, you'd have seen that that person had mentioned beforehand that it wasn't an emergency. And the receptionist had the gall to then say 'oh it's not an emergency then'.

    I am personally very suspicious of receptionists - and am actually growing to be scared of them at my surgery as they are so rude.

    Last time I phoned them was a couple of months ago, when I was in absolute agony with an ear ache. Granted, it wasn't a life or death situation, but you know what? Life or death situations are dealt with at A&E - NOT a GP surgery, therefore, pretty much everyone who calls to request an appointment with a GP is not facing a life or death situation, we are simply asking to see a GP, as we have a medical problem that we wish to seek help with.

    If patients seem rude to you, then a) it is probably because they are in a lot of pain and/or discomfort - and compassion is all that's needed. A simple 'I'm sorry, but we are unable to offer you an appointment until tomorrow' is all that's needed, rather than 'Because it's not an emergency, you'll have to wait until tomorrow', and b) we have probably dealt with GP receptionists before, and are expecting a full-blown interview seemingly designed to weed you out of seeing someone who can help.

    Therefore, I fully support what OP is saying - simple compassion goes an awfully long way. We understand you have jobs to do, but don't wish to engage in a verbal battle when we're already feeling ill.

    P.S The incident I described above, I got so upset at the unprovoked rudeness of the receptionist (I said nothing that a reasonably person would have become upset about) that I hung up, in tears, and was too scared to call back for HELP, and I ended up in agony for around a week, after which I experienced hearing loss in the affected ear for about 2 weeks, all because I was too afraid of the receptionists.

    Please think about that next time you encounter a patient - They may not behave as you would because they are unwell, and the hostility and rudeness encountered may cause that patient's health to deteriorate for much longer than necessary - do you really want that on your conscience?

    EDIT: This thread is exposing just how little respect receptionists appear to have for patients. If any have any stories of how they have made a patients' day, please feel free to give it. But from this thread they appear to be demanding and aggressive - an experience I have encountered numerous times in real life. Yes, I understand it is often a thankless job, and rude, abusive patients get no sympathy from me. But I have NEVER overheard a patient being overly rude or abusive to receptionists - we're all too scared of being struck off, as huge posters in the waiting room remind us is the consequence of being rude to reception staff.

    Also, please don't get me wrong - I start off all conversations, either over the phone or face to face, with respect and empathy towards them. I am never rude or abrupt unless provoked considerably. I am one of those who, when faced with the demand 'why do you want to see a GP?' i politely decline to answer - I am under no obligation to answer, it's not because I think you're being nosey, I just wish for that information to be between me and my GP - again, something which is my right.

    Also, I have been in a waiting room and overheard reception staff, after finishing a phone call, ***** about and actually discuss medical conditions of the patient she was talking to. This is blatant disregard for confidentiality, and should be (I don't know if it is or not) a sackable offense.

    So for those who are negging me, without quoting me, I challenge you to discuss why you hold such hostility towards patients in a fair and reasonable manner. I have presented both sides of the argument here, acknowledging that it is a difficult job, yet also explaining why I do not fully trust reception staff, despite respecting them and contacting them wishing only for help.
 
 
 
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